Abstract

We propose a compact phase-shifting radial shearing interferometer based on a pixelated micro-retarder array (MRA). The MRA is made of a thin birefringence plate, and is composed of identical units that have pixels of four different thicknesses. We demonstrate that pixelated phase delay between two shearing beams can be introduced by applying the fast axis of birefringence plate in the horizontal or vertical orientation. We also present an approach to extract the wavefront under test with random phase shift, which dramatically reduces the machining difficulty of the MRA. The feasibility and accuracy of the proposed method are further validated through our numerical analysis. With the advantages of vibration immunity, simultaneous phase stepping, and broad spectral range, the presented interferometer is expected to be of potential use in a variety of applications, such as the detection of moving objects and dynamic processes.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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